The Blantyre magistrate court has granted bail to businessman Ali Paseli following police’s failure to build a case against him, two months after his arrest.
Paseli was arrested in August alongside his friend Wonderful Kumbukani for receiving stolen property. The two are being suspected to have received 20 metric tons of stolen brown sugar worth about K42 million and since their arrest in August, they have been on remand at Chichiri prison in the commercial city.
At the court which was filled to capacity with friends and relatives of the two suspects, government prosecutor sub inspector Kaputa said they are not yet done with investigations on the matter.
Kaputa said police have failed to recover the 20 tons of sugar and also admitted their failure to arrest the main suspect of the case.
He also added that due to their failure to recover the stolen items or nab the main suspect, police have not yet found any charges of Paseli and Kumbukani.
Kaputa then asked the court for more time to proceed with their investigations to arrest the suspect and to recover the stolen sugar.
Defence lawyer Daniel Kalaya then applied for bail which senior resident magistrate Peter Kandulu granted but on seven conditions.
The conditions include giving the court a cash bond of K150, 000 each, surrendering travel documents, reporting to the Blantyre police once in a month, and not to interfere with police investigations on the matter.
Speaking in an interview with this reporter after the court hearing, lawyer for Paseli and Kumbukani, Kalaya said he was grateful that his clients have been released on bail.
“The matter came for plea taking and basically it seems from the report of the police they are not through with their investigations so they asked for more time which is two weeks such that they should finalize their investigations.
“We then applied for bail which has been granted to my clients and I am satisfied with the procedure and basically am also happy that my clients are now out on bail,” said Kalaya.
Meanwhile, Kandulu has adjourned the case to December 9.